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San Diego Has A Case Of The Coronavirus And More Local News

 February 11, 2020 at 3:00 AM PST

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Tuesday, February 11th I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up. San Diego has its first confirmed case of Corona virus and a San Diego based company is looking to deliver medication faster and cheaper using drones. Speaker 2: 00:18 We can go from Tylenol to some medications actually run up to $40,000 we have the ability to deliver, let's say insulin, which has to be refrigerated. Speaker 1: 00:27 That more coming up right after the break. Speaker 1: 00:37 Local health officials say one person has tested positive for the Corona virus at UC San Diego medical center in Hillcrest. The person was one of many people who were quarantined at Miramar air station. After arriving on a plane from China last week, the person's being held in isolation at the Hillcrest medical center. It's the first person to have come down with Corona virus in San Diego. Meantime, more than 200 evacuees from China remain quarantined at MCIs Miramar. Most are us citizens who may have been exposed to the Corona virus. KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman spoke to one of them via Skype about what life is like on base. Speaker 3: 01:16 It is a hotel, so I mean food a food can be a little better. Frank Wu Sinsky and his three year old daughter Annabel are staying in a room with two beds, a bathroom, microwave and coffee maker. I've definitely been in worse places who Sinskey says the base gives them three meals a day. Dinner Sunday night was pineapple and chicken, which Sinski's wife is still in China. She's not a us citizen and wasn't allowed on the evacuation flight. Three-year-old Anabel doesn't understand why her mom isn't with them and is getting frustrated. In her mind it's mommy not wanting to see her. So she's been kind of, you know, saying things and like, I don't want to talk to mommy who Sinsky is talking with OnBase counselors to help get through this tough time. He's also working to try and bring his wife to the United States. Matt Hoffman, K PBS news. Speaker 1: 02:05 Starting this week, labs in California can process tests for the new Corona virus within two days. [inaudible] Mary Franklin Harvin reports until now only the federal centers for disease control could run the tests and results can take as long as a week, but starting Wednesday 16 laboratories in California will be able to perform testing for the novel Corona virus. The participating labs will provide results within two days of when they receive the specimen and is California's department of public health points out quicker. Diagnosis means quicker treatment. While the state continues to reinforce efforts to combat Corona virus, they're still only around a dozen cases confirmed across the country. That's compared to 140,000 hospitalizations and when an 8,000 flu deaths here this season, doctors urge people to get the flu vaccine and to regularly wash their hands for California report. Speaker 4: 03:00 I'm Mary Franklin Harbin. For the first time, scientists have quantified the impact of education on reducing a single California's carbon footprint cap radios, Ezra David Romero reports. The more people learn about climate change, the more likely they'll alter their habits. That's what researchers at San Jose state university found. After analyzing the lives of 500 students, each had taken a class on climate change compared to the average Californian. They reduced their carbon footprint by an average of nearly three tons per year, says climate science professor Eugene Codero. A couple of people mentioned that I knew the next time I was going to buy a car, it's not going to be the same type of car I was driving before or I just changed my lifestyle in terms of the types of foods that I eat as a result of this class because the course was offered as general education. Codero says the students are present a broad spectrum of people, but he recognizes it has limits and that's why he's piloting a similar science project for a younger demographic. Middle schoolers in Sacramento, I measured David Romero, part of Ebola park is getting a makeover. KPBS Metro reporter Andrew Bowen says, city council members my day approved funding for a new gathering space. Speaker 5: 04:10 The Palisades parking lot is sandwiched between the air and space museum, the automotive museum, and the municipal gym on a weekday morning. It's full of cars, but there aren't a lot of people. City Councilman Chris ward says the Plaza will give people a new reason to visit this part of the park. So we'll have a lot of features here for tables and benches and places for people to sit. Uh, eventually we're going to have a water feature, a rectangular fountain right in the middle of it and that actually would bring back a historic fountain that used to be here a hundred years ago. The city plans to add more parking elsewhere in the park to make up for the spaces lost in the Palisades lot. City staffers hope to break ground this summer. Andrew Bowen, KPBS news, Speaker 4: 04:49 the crew of a boat trying to protect a critically endangered porpoise in the sea of Cortez was fired on by fishermen this weekend. KPBS reporter max Rylan Adler tells us why Speaker 6: 05:00 the boat belonged to the group sea shepherd and their job is to protect the critically endangered vaquita inside of its protected habitat where fishing is banned. The poachers are trying to catch the [inaudible] trois fish whose bladder cells in China for a high price and is considered a treatment for numerous ailments. On Saturday morning, fishermen fired on the sea shepherd boat, which had been confiscating their nets. JP Jeffrey is sea Shepherd's campaign leader for its mission to protect the vaquita. Speaker 7: 05:28 These people they are talked about and this weekend is they're not fishermen. They're, they're more than that. They're criminals, uh, carrying guns and, uh, are dealing with this poaching of this totality that is also, and then you're Speaker 6: 05:40 experts estimate there were just over a dozen Vicki to left on the planet. All of them live in the protected zone in the Gulf of California max with Lynn Adler, K PBS news Speaker 4: 05:51 these days. They and them have become the preferred gender neutral pronouns. But do you do when it's just one person? KPBS has Donald Bloodworth says other terms of surface throughout history. Dennis Baron is a linguistic scholar and author of the book. What's your pronoun beyond he and she in it, he explores the history of terms used to describe individuals whose gender is unknown. He says, attempts to coin a third singular pronoun, go back hundreds of years. For example, a single capital, he was proposed in 1841, but failed the catch on. Baron says there may never be a consensus around one gender neutral term, but addressing people by their preferred pronouns, he, she or they is the right thing to do. What we're really trying to do is get people to respect one another and to include one another in the conversation, whether it's spoken or written. It's a politeness issue. It's a civility issue. It's, it's a way of saying, you know, I'm listening to you the book, what's your pronoun is available now? Donald Bloodworth KPBS news, a San Diego based company is looking to deliver medication faster and cheaper using drones. KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman got a first look at how the company plans to do it. Speaker 3: 07:10 Instead of going out to a pharmacy to get your medications, one company is using technology to bring it directly to you from the air. Speaker 2: 07:20 We're at the implementation phase and we have a pilot program starting with sort pack, uh, our first of hopefully many, uh, uh, pharmacies and delivering to some of their patients. Speaker 3: 07:30 Founds Genesee is CEO of unmanned systems operations group or you SOG, his experience in the air force flying medical evacuations. He knows how important it is to get people their medications fast, but it wasn't until a year ago when he took a class at MiraCosta college in Oceanside that the idea came to him. Speaker 2: 07:51 During the course of that class, they showed us a video of a delivery service of RC planes, parachuting medication in Africa. I'm like, bingo, game over. We could do that. Speaker 3: 08:05 So Jenna say partnered with two of his instructors and launched the company. The delivery system works like this using an app customer select a drop off location. A courier then takes their medication and secures it under the drone. Once that happens, the drone takes off all by itself Speaker 8: 08:25 [inaudible] Speaker 3: 08:25 and is automatically guided to the drop off location. Once at the destination, the package is dropped, customers will then get a notification on their phone and can view video of the actual aerial delivery. The drones the company's using now can carry up to 12 pounds and fly all sorts of medication. Speaker 2: 08:41 We can go from Tylenol, uh, to some medications actually ran up to $40,000. We have the ability and uh, we have, um, uh, climate controlled, uh, containers to deliver, let's say insulin which has to be refrigerated, take antivenoms from one hospital, transport it to another hospital instead of transporting the patient. And it's faster, quicker Speaker 3: 09:02 and cheaper. The company has partnered with soar pack, a full service pharmacy that serves customers Speaker 9: 09:06 across the country. We want to be at the forefront of, you know, the future and you know, we see there's a, it really could help a lot of people out to Raymond Shirvani. Ian is CEO of sort pack. We do have patients that, you know, they don't have loved ones that can go out there and pick up their medications. Right. They don't have a D. they live in areas where it's more of, you know it's, it's really hard for cars to get out there soon. Sort pack customers will be receiving their deliveries from the drones part of a pilot program. We've asked them, how do you feel about there? We're amazed, you know, they were surprised too. How would a drone deliver my medication? Speaker 3: 09:41 You saw co-founder Mark. Costco says there are some limitations with the drone delivery system. Bad weather or rain could cancel flights. There's definitely going to be conditions. I mean there's conditions with commercial aircraft which are pretty rugged. Don't fly through. Helicopters won't fly and there's a level that we won't be able to fly through to. If the weather gets too too bad. Costco says automated technology will be a key part of the company's success and that is where we start and those words going to go and it'll play on the best route. Making sure that avoids a no fly zones that the FAA is designated like schools, hospitals, stadiums. Genesee says the main goal of the company is to save lives by getting medication to people faster and cheaper. He's driven everyday to reach this goal by the memory of his grandmother who passed away when he was just a kid. Speaker 2: 10:24 The biggest impetus of, of creating this company is helping to save lives cause I wasn't able to save my grandmother and I wasn't old enough to, but I wasn't able to save her, but I wanted to save others. Uh, and uh, I think that's kind of, uh, one of the big things that, uh, really might've me to make this happen. So for this to be successful is everything to me. Um, you know, it's a big deal to me and I've got everything invested, everything invested in it, all of me Speaker 3: 10:51 right now, the company is continuing to put its software and drones through tests you saw, knows they have competition from larger companies in the drone delivery space you saw will soon begin test flights, delivering medication just North of San Diego in Riverside County, Matt Hoffman KPBS news Speaker 1: 11:08 more than 100,000 to hospital employees throughout the state are choosing not to get the flu vaccine. KPBS reporter Taryn Minto has the story. Speaker 10: 11:18 A Velcro cuffs squeezes the arm of ed Hollingsworth. The machine checks his blood pressure while a nurse takes his temperature. Oxygen is good. No fever. That's good news for Hollingsworth because he has a weakened immune system due to undergoing cancer treatment. So he takes extra precaution to avoid getting sick. Speaker 9: 11:37 I don't get out much. No, I had to stop substitute. Speaker 10: 11:40 He says he left because of the fatigue from cancer and stayed away because of the health risks. But it was a difficult decision. Speaker 9: 11:47 I love going to one to one school and the guy who was always sub and this girl goes, no, he's a good stuff as long as you do your work. Speaker 10: 11:52 But a illness like Speaker 11: 11:54 the flu could be deadly and classrooms are filled with germs, expose myself to all that, but patients like him could be exposed to the flu at the facilities that care for them. The state wants 90% of a hospital staff to be vaccinated against the illness by the end of the next flu season, but new data show nearly 200 of California hospitals are not on track for that, including five in San Diego. At the same time, the region is home to the hospital with the best vaccination rate in the state. My name is Megan Medina. I'm an infection control coordinator at Rady children's hospital. San Diego's Rady has 99% of staff vaccinated. Medina says that's possible because of a strict exemption policy. The County requires unvaccinated hospital employees to wear a mask while working, but they don't have to give any reason for declining. Radio's policy only allows medical excuses. The employee has to meet with our occupational health department, the San Diego facilities that aren't on track to reach the goal, all allow personal belief exemptions. Speaker 11: 12:57 Alvarado hospital medical center had the lowest vaccination rate in the County at 78% for the record, the worst of the state and LA hospital is 29% Alvarado declined an interview, but Dr. Craig Waco at Scripps health says, the problem is some staff get a flu vaccine elsewhere but don't provide proof. They don't send it to us unfortunately. Then we consider them un-vaccinated. He pointed to physicians a law designed to block corporate practice of medicine means doctors are licensed independent practitioners, scripts, mercy. Chula Vista is one of those not on track to meet the state's goal, but only by one percentage point. If you remove licensed independent practitioners from the equation, the rate among direct employees is one point over goal. I just don't think the numbers reflected accurately. A sharp facility in Cornetto was also just shy of being on track, but as spokesman says, it did a better job getting documentation from doctors this flu season and the rate went up. Paradise Valley and kindred hospitals were each at 84% but again, they didn't interview and vitals are good. One 36 over 70 Speaker 10: 14:02 for Hollingsworth, the retired teacher, the risk of getting flu at his hospital is lower than others. He receives treatment at UC San Diego health medical center in LA Jolla, which is tied for second highest rate in the state, but his wife Maryanne worries for patients where more employees may use their right to refuse the vaccine. Speaker 11: 14:20 I respect that, but I also expect them to be concerned and respect our rights to not be exposed to something that could, you know, prove fatal. Speaker 10: 14:31 All of the San Diego hospital's not on track to reach goal, allow personal belief exemptions, but soda, many of the state's highest performers, still County public health officer. Dr Wilma Wooten says she wasn't aware of local hospitals were permitting it. We reached her on video chat. So that's something we need to explore and determine why that is. But she says the County only requires employees to get a vaccine or wear a mask. So hospitals are free to enforce that, how they choose. And there aren't any penalties if a facility doesn't meet the state's goal. We are not telling people how to implement that policy at the Hollingsworth home. The policy is get your flu shot or please stay away. He and wife Maryann asked their 26 year old son to get it before coming home for Christmas, and when his sons band mates stayed at the house for a recent show at the Casbah, he asked them to get it to where it said he knew going into the nightclub was risky, but he couldn't miss his son. Show Taryn mental KPBS news. Thanks for listening to San Diego news batters. Do us a favor if you appreciate the podcast rate or review us on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Thank you.

The Centers for Disease Control says a person with the novel coronavirus is being kept in isolation at UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest. Plus, fishermen fire on a boat in the Sea of Cortez that’s there to protect the endangered Vaquita porpoise. And a parking lot in Balboa Park will be turned into a park plaza.